Chargers’ Preseason Game 1 Notes

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

I apologize for how long it took for me to get this written but I wanted to share a few thoughts from Saturday night’s preseason game.

It was reported that Tennessee allowed fans to call their first two plays. At that point in the game it was 1’s vs. 1’s. Interestingly those two plays gained 15 and 31 yards…after that the Titans’ professional staff started calling plays and gained a total of 12-13 yards on the next six offensive plays. It’s not insignificant to note the different “play-callers” because teams scout tendencies. What are the fans’ tendencies?

New addition Brandon Mebane was in the Titans’ backfield nearly every play. He and Joey Bosa (once he’s signed) will solidify the DL. Despite the headlines and the 288 rushing yards allowed statistic, the first-team unit only allowed 21 yards rushing and held the Titans to a FG and a punt.

Once the first-team players were off the field it’s hard to get very excited or too bummed about anything else that happened.

Isaiah Burse had one great catch in the 2nd quarter (wiped away by a penalty) but was rather disappointing overall. The Chargers’ receiving corps has quite a few promising but unheralded young guys (rookie: Dom Williams, and second year players: Javontee Herndon and Tyrell Williams, and third-year man: Dontrelle Inman are battling for playing time behind Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, and James Jones) they won’t all make the 53 man roster. More than once I noticed Burse jumping to catch the ball and his timing was off. He would reach the apex of his jump and start descending prior to the ball reaching him. He needs to do better at “high-pointing” the ball.

Kenneth Farrow had more than 85 rushing attempts in each of his four collegiate seasons. He never averaged less than 5.0 yards/carry and he averaged 5.3 yards/carry on 560 career attempts. He appeared to have VERY good vision. Coming from a collegiate spread offense to a pro-set, it’s not always an easy transition. Farrow was quite impressive. I’m looking forward to watching him in game 2.

Hunter Henry is good. I only recall seeing him miss one catch and that was on a play where you just have to tip your cap to the defense; knocking the ball loose. He also demonstrating solid blocking ability.

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

I was rather disappointed early not to see more of Dexter McCoil. He was a frequently contributor later in the game however. His size (6’4” 220) and speed (which is solid) at safety make him a unique player. I cannot imagine the Chargers not keeping McCoil as a backup safety/special teams player.

Dom Williams was casualty of two things on draft day: 1. He had a high drop-rate in college, and 2. The 2016 draft class was particularly deep at WR. At 6’2” and roughly 200 lbs., Williams has solid size. He also ran a 4.39 40 yard dash. Guys like that don’t grow on trees. If he can develop his hands he can have a long career in the NFL.

I think the Charges brass wants Zach Mettenberger to beat out Kellen Clemens as the backup QB. Mettenberger is a guy who theoretically could be groomed into a mid-tier starter. Ironically, the guy he profiles most closely to – at least physically – is Philip Rivers (ironic because I said that when he was still in college and now he’s in the same QB room). Clemens will never be more than a backup/emergency starter. That said, the #1 job for a QB is decision-making – it’s more mental than physical. And in that area Clemens is light years ahead of Mettenberger. I also really like Mike Bercovici as a developmental QB. I hope the Chargers are able to stash him away on the practice squad.

Having said all of the above, the #1 take-away from last Saturday’s game, the Chargers finished the game unscathed by injuries. We can only hope that trend continues this Friday.

Thanks for reading.

@PickinBolts

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Peter Friberg
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